Thursday, April 30, 2009

my poorly baby

My baby Sizzle is poorly!
He was absolutely fine last evening as we went Flyball training at 6:45, he was dashing about, learning to trigger the box (he actually trigger the box "accidently" twice!), he was full of himself, not slowing down. This morning, we woke up to find some vomit on the kitchen floor, I kinda remember he came to scratch me in the middle of the night (this normally means he asked to go out as I have not teach him to use the dog flap yet). To confirm it was him that was sick, he actually sick again in the morning, he then went to lie down on the grass. I thought he just enjoyed a bit of the sun in the morning.
Anyway, I took him with Sing & Saturn to Pachesham, our club training this morning. I usually arrived 15 minutes early so the dogs get to do a short toilet trip in the wood. He was running into the wood with Sing and Saturn then suddenly stop. To me, it looked very funny. Sizzle is a livewire, he nevers stop. I thought he hurt himself or something so I check on him but cannot see any injury or cut but he refused to walk and he stand in a funny position. I picked him up and carry him around.
When I ran Saturn in our first class, I can see and hear him barking mad in the car everytime I ran Saturn, when Saturn's class over, I pop him back in the car to find out Sizzle has been sick many times all over the car boot. I clean up the mess and he looked quiet, so I carry on with Sing's class. When Sing's class was over, I have noticed Sizzle is very quiet and tired. I thought maybe he just a bit weak from all the sick. Normally I would stop at Oxshott Common for a walk but I decided I will go home.
Sizzle normally sit at the car boot area but he wanted to sit next to me, that was good as when I was driving home, I have noticed that he slept too well. I tried to wake him up but he didn't response so I got very worried and pulled the car on the hard shoulder. I tried to wake him up again and he did open his eyes after I gently shake him. I quickly rang my vet for an emergency appointment. Luckily Kevin hasn't got any operation today so we got to see him within an hour's time.
On the way to my Vet, I can see he was in discomfort, he can't settle down at all. Kevin check on him but he didn't show any sign of tense in the abdomen (I thought it got something to do with his stomach); then it got me worry more as Lungworm seems to be the big issue now and normally young dogs got it. Kevin suggested a blood test and admitted him for a few hours to put him on a drip.
I was very anxious waiting for the phone call, so I took Sing and Saturn for a walk and bounced into another uncontrollable dog which I mentioned in my earlier post. I rang Kevin at 4:30 to find out how my little boy is, he told me he is on Intravenous Fluid and he is fine and he can come home tonight but I need to bring him back tomorrow morning for another check up.
So, baby Sizzle is at home with me now. He is very quiet and weak. I am keeping him away from the others but Sing and Saturn are with him so he won't feel alone. He looks very tired and weak. Vet said no solid food until he sees him tomorrow but I need to give him the Glutalyte often and little.
More update tomorrow!
This means no agility for Sing and Saturn this weekend and no Flyball for Sizzle too! Who cares! I want my bouncy baby back!

Be a responsible dog owner

I wanted to write about this post three weeks ago but I haven't have the courage to do it, I am worry I will upset some dog owners but after reading this and today's walk, I decided I will write it anyway.
I took my dogs out walking at least twice a day and we go to different places, depend where I am. For the last three weeks, very often (nealry at every walk), we have trouble walking stress free like we used to be. I like to take all my dogs out at the same time, so walking 5 or 6 shelties at once is quite a scene. I have no problem with any of my boys or even Samber, they are very well behaved and very responsive to my recall. I also make sure I always carry some yummy treat or a toy if anything happen so I can get my dogs back at anytime.
For the last few weeks, we keep facing other dogs coming up to us, many of them are boisterious and uncontrollable. I am not over protecting my dogs but if I see that is too much, I will straightaway scoop up Sizzle, Titan and Samber because these three are petite and small. I can't have a strong boisterous lab or a heavy build staffie constantly jumping all over them.
I was watching (and studying) how the owners react when this happen, generally they just called their dogs hoping they will go back to them and of course the dogs totally ignored the recall. What did the owners do? Still calling from where they are and the dogs are still jumping all over my dogs. I do not mind asking my dogs to sit/stay for 5-10 minutes waiting for the owner to come up to catch their dogs but the owners just left the dogs do what they want to do and this really got me very irritating. If I politely asked the owner to come and get their dog, they would answer me: He/She is alright, he/she will come back. When I heard this, I gave up and I just walked off with my dogs + the dog! I thought the owner will definitely come and get their dog this time, NOPE! They are still calling from where they are!
Another time (at least three times), I bounced into this woman with a poodle x cocker, a very young boisterious dog. She said to me: Do you mind I walk with you? I want him to learn to walk in a pack. I thought, why would she wants her dog to walk in a pack? She said: Then, he will learn not to run away. I think to myself: Really? So, off we walk together, my dogs were quite happily sniff away and do their businesses but this dog just wouldn't leave them alone, he will jump from one dog to another until all my dogs looked so fed-up. In between, we saw some other dogs from a distance, he will charge off towards the other dogs and the poor woman stand next to me calling the dog. At one point, I gently said to her: can't you go and get your dog? She said to me: No, he will come back. I got so angry, so I march off with my dogs leaving her still calling her dog.
I cannot say ALL my dogs are very good and well behaved. They sometimes have an off day and wanted to do something not so obedient, so I am always prepare for the bad day. At many occassions, Skye was being naughty, he saw a dog from a distance, I let him go and say his hello then called him and he wouldn't come back, so I just walked up to him and put his lead on. To be honest, walking so many dogs at once, I cannot afford to have a disobedient dog, so I always restrain my training until I am happy with my result.
I remembered many years ago when I only have Sing and Seagull. I can't remember why but I only took Sing out for a walk that morning. When we got on the Common, we saw a staffie and a white GSD fighting in a distance. I got a bit worried but I thought I was miles away and we should be quite safe but how wrong was I? I saw this staffie turned around and ran towards Sing, I was very frightened and quickly picked Sing up but I am not a tall woman, so the Staffie jump and got Sing's tail. Sing wanted to fight back but I lift him up as high as possible and the Staffie jump up again, this time, he got my arm! Yes, HE GOT MY ARM! Can you imagine I have got a Staffie hang on to my arm? I was in tears, don't know whether I was frightened or I was in pain. I saw this woman (the owner) casually walk towards us and said to me: He's alright! I shouted at her: I am bloody not alright! She didn't even said a thing and walked off, so I have to kick this dog to get him off me. I went home with a bloody arm and Colin had to rush me to hospital. I did report this to the Dog Warden but I heard nothing back from them.
Now, the government wanted to convert 50 places near us to "non doggie friendly". Arrrggghhh ... Why can't some dog owners learn how to control their dogs? Instead of banning dogs in the park, why don't the government set a test to see if the people pass to own a dog?
I was very annoyed today by another dog owner. I have to say I wasn't in a good mood today as Sizzle was very poorly and I have to drop him off to my vet and Kevin is keeping him in for a few hours for the drip, so my poor little man got me worried. I took Sing and Saturn out to the Common after leaving Sizzle at the vet. We were walking and joined by a JRT, the owner was walking towards the road (leaving the Common) and I was walking into the Common, as I was worried about Sizzle, I kept marching and my two dogs were following me but this JRT wouldn't leave us alone and I wasn't stopping. I was miles ahead (I am not good in distance but I was definitely very far from the owner) but this owner didn't bother coming up to get her dog. I still carried on marching and I was crossing to the upper part of the Common, I can't see the owner at all but this JRT didn't seems to bother his owner is not around, all he cares is to jump on top of Sing. I wish Sing would tell him off but he is such a gentle soul. Anyway, I was very far from the road now (at least 10-15 minutes walk), I suddenly heard someone calling: Milo! Milo! When I turned around, I saw the owner running 100mph towards us. I guess she finally got worried for not seeing her dog, she even shouted at me: Hey, can you stop for just a second. So, I did. She came up to catch the dog and put him on the lead and said: Milo, What's wrong with you today? I think to myself, there is nothing wrong with the dog, it is you, stupid woman!
We keep hearing news about dog attacking children and elderly but don't they know it is the human should be responsible and not the dog?
I went to a few training classes and have met some aggressive dogs. Some handlers/owners are very good in controlling their dogs. We were also told in advanced that the particular dog can be a bit nasty so we all aware and do our best not to upset each other. I really do not mind as long as the owner has his/her control over the dog. We also met some aggressive dogs at flyball, when I looked at it and studied carefully, it was the owner that let the dog does the nasty behaviour, so the dog carries on ...

Monday, April 27, 2009

WOW! What a weekend.

We have no luck for a relaxing weekend. To start with, I have not enter any dog shows, thinking we could spend a stress free weekend with the dogs then do some gardening and maybe spring clean the house before my mum arrives. I did tell Ray Sing is available if the Team needs us. Later I found out from the Wimbledon Whizzers website that Ray has Sing's name down for Sunday. As I have contact problem with Saturn last weekend (he ran passed the A Frame and see-saw a few times), I thought it would be good to do some UKA shows with him to get his confidence back.
So, we woke up early on Saturday to drive to Patenden in Dial Post. I know the Novice is not the first class but I like to go early to switch myself into agility mood and also I need to enter on the day, so early is better. We did get there very early, so the boys have a good walk around with Colin while I went to sort the paperworks out.
I have entered three classes each for Sing and Saturn, Jumping, Agility and Steeplechase. I was tempted to do Snooker but I think it is too complicated for me, so I chicken out. I want a stress free weekend so I do not want to get worried about how to do the snooker.
The show started a bit later than it scheduled, so I have plenty of time sitting around watching other dogs run and catching up with friends that I haven't seen since last year. The Jumping ring was quite exciting, the judge set up some very challenging jumping courses. The first one was the Championship Jumping, all I saw was either a push through or a pull through. Not many dogs got clear in that but some runs were just smashing, I love watching those top handlers handle their dogs. They made it look so easy, I bet if I was in there, I will get eliminated after the second jump!
Our first run was Novice Jumping. I was hoping the judge will set up a challenging course but it wasn't hard to handle. I need to watch two bits, both have the "invitation" jump in front of it, so I need to call the dog at the right time for him to turn where I want him to turn. Saturn did the #11 jump beautifully. It was a straightline after the cloth tunnel, so he was coming up in a speed, thank God I did called him much earlier, so he was tight when he turned and he didn't even look at the finishing jump in front of him. Then, at jump #15, I would like him to turn tighter but I just can't as from jump #14 to jump #15, the angle wasn't good and I do not want to risk it just in case he miss the jump, so I sent him out to take the jump then call him back to the weave. Sing was a good boy too, he jump very similar to Saturn but 4 seconds behind him. I am trying to achieve with him this weekend is the weave. He kept pulling out from the 10th pole last weekend, so my target is WEAVE for Sing. He was good and he finished all his weave clean.
Then, we have a very long wait before the Agility. Sing was the only clear round! He still got his running contacts which is great and he got his weave too. I know it was a bit slow but that is fine by me. What can I say about Saturn? I know I am using that as a training round but I do not want to show him I have the toy on the start line as I do not want him to learn the pattern that when he sees the toy, he knows is training as we cannot have toy/food when we run at the KC show. I quite like the beginning; jump, tunnel, A Frame. I thought that will give him enough speed to go up the A Frame but how wrong was I? I tried to hang back, so I was behind him when he goes into the tunnel, then pick him up from tunnel up to the A Frame, what did he do? Ran passed the A Frame! I swing him around to do the A Frame again and he ran passed it again! Arrrggghhhh ... at the end I took the toy out from my pocket and show it to him. Guess what? Straight up and down, no problem, not even missing the contact point eventhough he release himself before I say OK. Then, we carried on running until he saw the see-saw. He ran passed it the first time but when I used a firm voice, he went up there but leap off, so I took him back to do another, again he leap off, so do another but I did a front cross and he stayed on the see-saw, I priased him like a mad woman! We carried on running and guess what? He did a superb 2o/2o on the DW. That really made my day! Well, I guess one out of three contacts is not too bad to start with.
I met Jo at the show and got chatted up. We heard the annoucment that they are doing the pairs at 2pm and the Final is on Sunday. I know I cannot do Sunday as Sing will be flyballing but I did ask Jo if she fancy a bit of a fun running the pairs and she said yes so we booked in to run two pairs. Sing & Erik and Saturn & Chester. Leslie Osbourne was the judge and he set up a very nice flowing fast course. I was a bit worry about the weave entry for Saturn as he has longer stride and I have a feeling he will go into the 2nd pole. The weave was set very close to the jump, it is good for smaller dog. I know I need to work on that.
Sing & Erik pair was up first. Sing was fast, I guess he likes the jump being low (this is a toy/midi pairs; Sing is Midi and Erik is Toy), unfortunately he got slipped on the last weave pole and need to pick up his speed again after a couple of jumps but he did alright. Erik is a very young sheltie and he is still learning, he missed the weave entry but he was good and he got that the 2nd attempt. Saturn & Chester pair was last to go. Saturn is a good jumper, as long as there is no contacts, I shouldn't have any problem with him. He seems to know what he is doing, I did tell him to weave when he comes out from the tunnel and he was a good boy and I can see he is aiming on the weave but he looked confused after the 6th pole. Well, I guess we never do 6th pole, so he probably question me is that it? You can see his face looks so funny in that video. Chester is a very fast sheltie and I like the way he weaves too. Between Saturn & Chester, they finished the course in 40 seconds. Sing & Erik pair was about 53 seconds, if Erik went clear, this pair will come 2nd. There were only 3 double clear rounds, so Sing & Erik came 4th. Our two teams got qualified for the Final but I can't make it so the other two teams have our places to run. It was really good fun and I really enjoying the extra runs.
To finish the day, we have Steeplechase. I have been watching the Championship Steeplechase and Senior Steeplechase, I wonder what will I get for the Novice Steeplechase. The judge again, set up some very tricky courses. There were two pipe tunnels facing each other, I thought Saturn will come out from this tunnel straight into the next as he is a tunnel vision dog but I was so glad he LISTEN to me all the time and he was the only dog that went clear in the Novice Steeplechase. Sing got eliminated as he missed the first tunnel. It was so funny as technically he is a good reliable dog, he shouldn't have miss the first tunnel. Sorry no video for the Steeplechase as their daddy was on the phone to his "girl" friend! Arrrgggghhhh ....
here are some runs from Saturday:
Now, move on to the exciting Flyball Tournament on Sunday. We woke up very early again, it was a long drive for us to go to Godmanchester, about two hours through Central London. Well, it was the marathon day, so most part of Central London was close for the big event. We need to go through it very early to avoid the road closesure.
Cambridgeshire Flyball Team was holding the tournament, it was held at the Wood Green Animal Shelter. The ground was fantastic to race. The running order was Div 6, 5 and 4. The Whizzers is in Division 5 but we were ring party on Division 6. I was watching and learning in the morning but helping in the afternoon. It was good fun but I know I need to concentrate with my job eventhough I was so exciting watching the dogs whizzing around.
We have got 6 dogs in The Whizzers but little Buddy is not competing, so we have 5 dogs to swap if needed. We have 5 races, 3 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. Sing did most of the legs but we have pulled him out for a couple of the legs in the morning for a rest to save up his energy to run in the afternoon. What can I say? The Whizzers is the WHIZZERS! All the dogs are just superb, they ran wonderfully, we have almost all the clean runs other than when we swapped between Sing and Wellie. Karen was running Maddie and Wellie, so it is definitely not easy but she handled it beautifully.
The result ... this is so excited! There were 6 teams in our Divison, after the Run Around Robin, 5 teams were to tie for 1st place but The Wimbledon Whizzers has the fastest time, so we WON the division! HooRay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
here are some runs from the Flyball:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

annoying FOX

Just recently, we have A LOT of foxes trespassing our garden during the day and "having a party" in our garden during the night! When we first moved into this house in 2003, we always saw the same two foxes walking on our green house roof. I wasn't liking it, so I always send the dogs to chase them off. I don't really want any foxes "live" in our garden to pass some unwanted diseases. Then, I don't see the two foxes for a while, I thought that is great!
We have an odd one every now and then for the last few years but they didn't bother me because whenever the dogs hear them, they will go through the dog flap anytime of the day to chase them off, so I thought we are safe from foxes.
It all started back in October, I kept asking Colin if he has put away the dog toys that I left in the garden and he said No but we lost a few dog toys and some tennis balls. It is so weird. Then, one day I was walking the dogs in the Common and bouced into one of my neighbours a few doors down the road, he told me he keeps getting some strange dog toys in his garden! I asked him what kind of dog toys and when he described it, I thought that sounded like my dog toys! So, I asked if I can go over to collect them. I don't think anyone of us can throw the toys that far. It has to be something to pick it up from our garden then transport it to the other garden, Colin and I thought it could be a bird, well, I guess he is talking about a big bird! Not until I saw that in one of the afternoons that a fox came into our garden, picked up the tennis ball and of course the dogs shot out through the flap and the fox ran away with the ball! That explained it all.
I sometimes have some dog chew lie in the garden, it normally disappear in the morning if I forgot to pick it up from the garden. I guess the fox came in the night to have it. Just recently, these foxes got carried away, they came in our garden to leave their mess, Sizzle and Samber are both crazy about fox poo, they roll and roll, and you can see them enjoying rolling in the bloody fox poo! I got really annoyed bathing them.
This morning, I woke up to find more horrible runny fox poo on my A Frame! Yuk! I need to bleach it down. I am getting really fed-up with these foxes. I actually started to close the flap at night so the dogs can't get out when they hear the noise, I do not want my neighbours to complain about my dogs barking especially it is getting hot and most people leave their windows open, so noise is the last thing you want in the middle of the night.
Maybe I should leave the flap open so the dogs can go and chase the foxes away? But, I can't let the dogs out in my front garden, the foxes poo nearly everywhere in my front garden too! Arrrggghhhh ...
Also, someone told me foxes carry lung worms. Somebody I know that lives locally to me, his young dog was killed by lung worms 10 weeks ago, so that make me feels very unsafe having so many foxes coming in and out in our garden.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

catching up ...

I was feeling poorly last week, my whole body ache and my migrane is bothering me, I am not coping well when the weather turns hot! Isn't that sounds funny to you, I came from a hot country and I am complaining HOT when the temperature hits 20c? I am living on ibuprofen but my migrane just wouldn't go away, so I am hiding indoor during the day. This means I am not enjoying the lovely sunny spring.
I didn't do any training last week with the boys, it was humid and wet and our club training was close for Easter break. I enjoyed a bit of agility break. Well, maybe I was too relax about it and I did terribly at Wallingford on Sunday. I have entered Saturday and Sunday and even got a camping pass from Marion but Friday was pouring, so I decided not to go camping. On Saturday morning, my migane hit me again, so I told Colin I want to stay in, not going to agility. Colin thought I must be seriously ill as I am always energetic about agility and I guess he was right. My headache wouldn't go away, after dropping my nephew at Pryford to play golf, we took the dogs to the swampy Wisley Common for a walk, both Sing and Sizzle loved the puddles and water ditch, they even tried to swim, that was so funny.
I was feeling a little better on Sunday, so we went to Wallingford. We didn't leave home until 8am, it was a funny feeling, normally we woke up before dawn and set off to the show before the sun comes out but Sunday was very leisure. I gave myself plenty of time. There were about 200 dogs before us, so I thought two hours after the show starts should be the right time. We got there around 9:30am and our first run was at 1:20pm! And yes, both Agility and Jumping started at the same time, so after four hours' wait and we were done in 30 minutes (including the queing time)!
I had 2 runs each with Sing and Saturn and I had four eliminations! We started with Agility. I like Carlos's course, he always set up some nice challenging courses which needed some handling, I was running a few of his courses last year and I really love it.

this is the Grade 4-5 Agility course (just a draft from what I can remember)

My worried was the #5, #6, #7, #8 bit. I know I can trust Saturn to find the weave, so I challenged myself to turn him in between #5 and #6, then push him to take #7 and asked him to weave. He did that beautifully. His only problem was the contacts. First, he ping off the dog walk, then he ran passed the see-saw and A Frame! With Sing, I did a front cross after #6, so that give me a better position to stay behind #7 to send him into weave. He is not a great weaver so I have to watch him but somehow on Sunday, he kept pulling out from the 10th pole (both in agility and jumping) and that gave us the two e'd!

I being very stupidly handled Saturn in the Jumping class. He should do well in that course but I was moving when I sent him into the weave, so he went in the 2nd pole but I carried on and that gave us the e'd. It wasn't a difficult weave entry but I was being too careless. I am hoping to do more UKA shows this year to improve Saturn's contacts.

Back to little Sizzle. My long waiting custom made hit-it board arrived today! I was a bit disappointed with it, the size and colour is perfect but the beep isn't working too well for Sizzle. I remembered on the CleanRun website, there is a section you need to fill in was "how heavy is your dog", so when I emailed NoseTouch, I told Mary Lou that the weight is between 4.2kg (Sizzle was 4.2kg when I ordered the board, now 4.5kg) to 8.6kg (Sing's weight). I know nothing about the mechanism, but when I put Sing on the board, it beep but when I put Sizzle ON it, it doesn't beep at all, so I try running Sizzle on it and it doesn't beep either!! I guess the board needs a bit of a loosen job?

We have tried out the new hit-it board, after a couple of months break from the Dog Walk, he is keener than ever, so here we go ...

woohoo ... I am flying!

and this is better ...

I am still trying to play with the board, first I put it closer to the bottom end and he jumped over the board A LOT; so I tried moving the board further up to see what will I get out of it, here is the first attempt ... nearly miss!

wee ... here I fly!

then, I started to put his toy closer to the bottom of the DW

I think he starting to get the idea, I put the toy further from the contact and that is so much better.

I will keep experimenting for the next couple of days to see what outcome I have so I can fix up the training method.

small note on our weave: we are still working on our entries and I have also tried different combinations of things, one thing I am glad with is when he weaves, he is always put his head down and focus.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I received quite a few emails from friends asking me WHICH Easter agility show I was going and how did I get on. Well, while everyone I know enjoying their Easter Agility Shows, we were rushing about here and there doing something else. We ended up pretty exhausted by the end of Monday night.
Sizzle had another Flyball Starters on Good Friday, the weather was miserable, very WET and MUDDY by the end of the morning runs. We were out very late on Thursday, not plan but something pop up at the very last minute, so we didn't get to bed until 1:30am and woke up at 5am to drive down to Stockbridge. I forgot Sizzle's ball. Yes, he has his own special little ball or one of Sing's soft standard size tennis ball. I was so tired until I left everything behind. He worked hard for me in the morning, eventhough I can see he wasn't keen to pick up other ball but he did tried his best to do what he was supposed to do. In the afternoon, the ground got very bad, the mud was so thick and slippery and it was still drizzling, Sizzle decided he had enough. It started with me and Sizzle changing to close with Bonnie (Goldie), she dropped the ball at the last jump coming back, I sent Sizzle and he picked the ball that Bonnie dropped and I told him NO and sent him again, that probably confused the poor little chap and he refused to go up to the box to bring the ball back. I then gave him another go, he went up to the box but came back with nothing, so I decided he will have a rest for the day.
Again, Saturday and Sunday were busy, we wanted a relaxing weekend but a lot of last minute things pop up, so we were rushing here and there again ... the plan of going to bed early on Sunday night didn't fulfill. We got to bed around mid-night and woke up at 5am again the next morning to drive down to Stockbrige for the Multibreed racing. Sing was in the Team this time.
Sing was a good boy, I need not to worry at all, we have five dogs in the Team, Sing was racing in the morning and Wellie took over in the afternoon. We had a good run and the Team finished at 4th.

The weather has been very wet, so no weave training with Sizzle in the garden but we are refreshing some tricks indoor with a lot of distractions. He is getting better and getting more focus onto me.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

one "scarry" step!

We went to our Club training yesterday, I was hoping we could do a bit of v-weave, just to prove Sizzle can do the weave at different environment with different equipment. Eleanor pulled out the v-weave and I was shocked that she put 12 poles up! I told her we only do 6 and she knew I had problem teaching Sizzle weaving but she decided I should give the 12 poles a go! I didn't want to for first, I am hoping Sizzle will watch the others go and get excited, also Eleanor was using treat, so I really wasn't sure he will go for it. I did ask her not to stand too close at the exit, hopefully he will not frighten by it.
Do I have to worry?

The above video was taken after class. He was weaving on the lead for the first couple of times, he wasn't speeding through but Eleanor and me were confident enough to let him weave off lead and he did it beautifully. I am a happy bunny!! Can you believe this little guy can't weave at all before last Friday?

Monday, April 06, 2009

Sizzle's weave training

I was inspired by Zeki's weave training. I know I kept holding it back training weave with Sizzle as I wasn't sure how to train him as he does not pull on the lead to his food pot. I have tried that at Club but no success and last week, we tried at Bernadette and it wasn't great either. I have been practising sending (or pulling) to his "food pot" separately, I have to say, as long as Saturn is there, he will DASH to it, once Saturn is out of sight, he just walked to the food pot on a slow phase!! Arrrggghhhh ...
Then, on Friday, I thought I will open up 6 v-weave poles wide, then run Saturn through while Sizzle was on the lead watching. Of course he was jealous and barking mad. I thought this will be great as he is so excited, so I took him off the lead and run the weave with him, again, he just walked through it. How frustrating? At the end, I thought I am giving up and have all the dogs run loose and have a play in the garden, then everything change. I sometimes play with the dogs using the equipment, like sending them to jump or do contacts or anything, so I sent Saturn to weave and that follow by Sizzle in speed trying to catch him up. I thought that is great! If I can somehow input the idea into his little head, he might be able to weave. I know this is risky as I may "damage" the training but I gave it a go anyway.
After a few runs with Saturn and Sizzle in the weave poles, I managed to control Saturn to pretend he is going into the weave but actually stand and stay (can you imagine how hard it is for Saturn and me? He was such a good boy and listen to me all the time!). Of course Sizzle got trick but that works, he weave in speed without any hesitation. The poles were open really wide so he basically jump over the metal base but I don't mind to start with, I just want to get the speed out of him to do the weave. Later that day, we had another go, also with Saturn around.
We got to practice again on Saturday evening after we came back from our Flyball competition. He still have lots of energy left! I tried running him with Saturn with me for the first couple of time then put Saturn away, so basically he was the only one out there with me. We did a few runs then I closed up the poles very slightly, I am hoping to stop the jumping and the close poles didn't bother him, so that was good. I am very happy with him. I've got Colin to film us so I can watch what we were doing.
We were at Sheltie Show yesterday so no training for him. I took him out again this morning, his entry is not great but his way of weaving has improved, at least no more jumping on the metal base and I can see he actually built up a nice rhythm weaving. I am very please with I am doing. The next stage, I would like to improve his entries and maybe add a couple more poles.
here is our practice video:

a very good and successful weekend!

I had a fantastic weekend with Sizzle, Sing and Saturn.

Saturday was Sizzle's first competition ever, Flyball Starters at Billericay. Luckily we didn't need an early start, so we can lie-in for a little while. We left home about 7:40 for 10:00 start. We aim to get there at 9:30 but somehow my Tom Tom took me over Central London and we got caught at Jade Goody's funeral and some roadworks. That gave me frustration and stressed for being late! We got there just before 9:30 but still I was unhappy. I like to have plenty of time to settle myself and the dogs down before racing.

I cannot believe Sizzle and I are competing eventhough it is just a Starters, just imagine how young Sizzle is, I am very proud of him. He was a little star. There were 5 teams in the divison including us, so we have to race the other four teams. We have 5 dogs in the Team, Tommy, Carpet, Sizzle, Dexter and Harriet. Tommy, Carpet and Sizzle ran most legs and Dexter and Harriet were taking turn. I was so worried that Sizzle will not pay me full attention as they were too many things going at the big environment, he got very sniffy but when we started racing, he was very focus. He has not make a single mistake, all clear runs and he has a very nice speed too. For a baby dog, I am more than happy.
There are so many young flyball dogs out there and some of them are really good. Unfortunately, there were also some unfriendly dogs. While we were standing by outside the ring to get ready while the other two teams were still racing, suddenly we had a black labrador charging towards us after the box, he jumped over the fence to attack Sampson, a spaniel that is in our other team. I was very sad and unhappy how the people handle the situation. If this were to happen in the agility world, that dog would have to be removed from the show immediately but the flyball people let him carry on running. Then, later this black lab attacked another dog again in the ring, and yet again, he was allowed to stay!
I was stressed and very unhappy about it. I told myself if Sizzle is running and the black lab is there, I will pull ourselves out, it is not worth risking a young dog, especially a little dog like him. I am not over protecting him but he is so fine bone, any damage will kill him.
anyway, here is a little video, I only uploaded two runs:

We got home from Flyball around 6:30 and it was still daylight, so we got to play with the other dogs in the garden. We then tried to have an early night for an early start for Sunday but as you guess, we never do as planned! We didn't get to bed til 11:00. We woke up at 5:00 and get ready to go to the long waiting Sheltie Agility Show.
I love Sheltie Agility Show, this is my 4th year there and I enjoyed it more than ever! We got there around 7:30, helping them setting up the rings. To my surprised, there were so many other sheltie people there already, so it didn't take us long to set up two rings.
Both Sing and Saturn ran beautifully, I am very pleased with their performances. The jumps were slightly higher, there were the old type but nobody cares, the shelties just want to have fun. I know Sing was struggled as he is so small for a medium but he didn't go under any jump or missed any. He was a good boy. He went clear in 4 out of 5 classes. In the Combined 3-5 Agility, he was very close behind Todd that won the class, Todd was 24.0xx seconds and Sing was 24.204. I am very proud of him. He got 4th in the Combined 3-5 Jumping and 4th in the Combined 1-7 Connections. He also went clear in the pairs with Brian & Barney but Barney got eliminated. The only class we got eliminated was the Combined 5-7 Jumping. My body language sending him to take a jump instead of the tunnel I want him to go in, so this is a pilot error! Sing also won the Best Medium Novice Dog so we were awarded a lovely trophy! Sing won the Best Starter Dog two years ago!
Sing and his Best Novice Trophy
Saturn was a very good boy, he was very keen and work really hard for me. He has 3 out of 5 clear rounds. He was also very close behind Lucky (OBay Truly Lucky) in the Combined 3-5 Jumping, there were both 24 seconds, the difference is also by 100th of a seconds. He won the Combined 1-4 Jumping. He also ran clear in the pairs with Brian & Seamas where Seamas also got eliminated. He had 5 faults on the DW in the Combined 3-5 Agility and got himself eliminated in the Combined 1-7 Helter Skelter. He loves the tunnel so much that he went in twice!!
I also ran Titan and Skye to pair with Linda and Amanda. Titan is always naughty, this is why I never run him in the open KC shows. He loves people so much, he needs to go and say hello to everyone. I managed to get him to weave but I lost him before the tunnel, he ran over to the ring party to say hello but I did get him back, so we lost a bit of time there but clear. Linda and Leo put in another clear round so we came 5th in this pair!
Sing & Saturn with their winning
Sing also won the Grade 4 Dog Sheltie Agility League
Saturn won the Grade 3 Dog Sheltie Agility League
Saturn also came 3rd in the Overall Sheltie Agility League
Skye was pairing with Amanda & Kodak but Skye was so naughty, he didn't finish his weave in the first time so I swing him around to redo the weave, again he cannot complete the weave, after another attempt, he gave up and ran out of the ring!! Sorry Amanda, I promised no more Skye next year!!
This year, we haven't have the Circular Knockout. It is always the hightlight of the show, this class always ran last so everyone will sit by the ringside cheering. Hopefully they will bring this back next year.
here is the collection of videos:
sorry, you might need to turn your volume down if you do not want anymore shelties barking!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Sizzle's running A Frame

I spent yesterday afternoon mowing the lawn. When you only have one bit of the garden for the dogs to go toilet as well as practise agility, it is necessary to make sure it is under control and "maintain"!
I haven't practise agility with Sizzle in the garden since he started the club training. I do not want to tire him out as he is still very young. Agility Tuesday and Flyball Saturday and sometimes swim in the pond weekly probably is enough to keep him physically fit and mentally well balanced.
The weather has improved suddenly, so we got out today to do a bit of our running A Frame. It is not easy when I am on my own to run him as well as taking photos/videos. I haven't have a tripod so all I do is standing in a distance to send him over the A Frame and he was a very good boy but I can see his stride changing but he has not miss the contact point which is good but the A Frame is still on the baby height.

As I have mentioned in my earlier post about Sizzle not keen to pull on the lead to his food pot so it is a bit harder to train him on the V Weave. We are practising the "food pot" separately, with Saturn's help, he shows he can get to the food pot as fast as Saturn! I've also get Saturn out to do the V Weave while he was on the lead watching, he was barking mad but when I get him to do it on his own, he wasn't really going in speed. Yesterday while I was playing with the dogs and the boys went through the V Weave and follow by Sizzle in speed. I thought if I can control the other boys and get him to weave in speed, maybe this is another way of training? You can see the picture below, I can send him into the weave as well as recall.

Note: The Smiling Vote - Samber and Titan both have 10 votes each; follow by Skye 7 votes; then Sing and Saturn both have 6 votes each; Seagull 5 votes and Sizzle 4 votes. Thank you for playing. All the dogs have a gravy bone.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

one step forward

After a very tiring and exhausted "adventorous" three days, I now try to get back to normal. I am aching all over after nearly a 50/60 miles walk on the weekend!
Just a quick catch up here, Sizzle was a very good boy at Club training yesterday, he is back to his toy motivated self and we did a lot of different front cross sequences and he did them beautifully and drive to his toy! Yeah! We then did some see-saw invloving jumps and tunnels. For the first few runs, Eleanor was there to hold the see-saw and fed him, then she just stood there without holding the see-saw, so when he shot up there, it tip, the first time, he flew off the see-saw but it didn't bother him, so the second time, he knew the thing will tip and hang back a little. I think he was very good and that is one step forward for us! Unfortunately the last 10 minutes turned into a little disaster. We were doing two straight jumps onto the A Frame, then jump. Eleanor was at the bottom of the A Frame trying to feed the other dogs that did stop contact; we always run last because we do something different to the others. When Sizzle shooting down the A Frame, Eleanor chuck his toy (the treat and tug toy) over the next jump and Sizzle dashed to the toy but Ricky, another sheltie was loose and he snatched the toy from him and growl viciously! That put poor little Sizzle off the toy and would not happy to do anything again! I tried to switch toy but he just went off it!
I thought I will have problem getting him to play again but today at Bernadette, he was fine and happy to play with his ball. I used a different toy, I don't know if that made the difference but he was happy and we managed to do some "nice" rear across sequence. We also did some see-saw but we have improved from what we did from club, I am really happy with him. We now started to learn weaving! He is not driving to his food pot and is not happy to be on the lead while work, so we have a challenge there!!

here are some photos:

we took four boys with us to Yorkshire on the weekend, you can see they were quite content sleeping on the comfy bed! I can't name the hotel just in case they found out the dogs have been sleeping on their bed.
poor daddy has to sleep on the floor! Sizzle said he will keep his daddy company and daddy's big tummy is as comfy as the bed!

Sizzle's birthday pressies from mummy and daddy

and this big bacon joint! Yummy!

here are some photos from Sizzle's birthday walk:

Sizzle way of catching the ball in the air!

big brother Sing shows him how to catch the ball in the air

he is as good as Sing and jumping higher than Sing with his light springy body!

awwwwwwww MISSED!

sorry for this bad photogrpahy, you cannot expect me to take a good photo while throwing at the same time!! I like this photo eventhough is headless